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USW Local 4-200 Representing Nurses At Robert Wood Johnson Agree to Tentative Agreement Ending 4 Month Strike

After a grueling 4 months, beginning August 2023, filled with camaraderie, solidarity, and resiliency in the face of setbacks, the Robert Wood Johnson nurses union was able to settle, thus ending the strike. The United Steelworkers Union Local 4-200 went on strike because Robert Wood Johnson’s initial tentative agreement did little to assess the issues at hand and was overwhelmingly voted down by the union.

One of the biggest issues, that was not immediately addressed, was the nurse-patient ratio. By having a healthy ratio of nurses to patients, hospitals are able to drastically increase the likelihood of better outcomes for patients; in other words, hospitals can prevent many fatalities by employing enough nurses to reach a 1:4 ratio. Patient mortality rate increases drastically when the nurse-to-patient ratio becomes sub-optimal. When you have a loved one in the hospital, the last thing you want to do is worry about whether or not the nurses are stretched too thin to provide adequate time to each patient.

The result of this strike shows that sometimes it is necessary to take drastic measures in order for the workers’ voices to be heard. It also shows the benefit of a fully functional and active union. If workers want changes in the workplace, a strong show of solidarity is necessary. Without the United Steelworkers Union Local 4-200 having well-planned picket lines, and informing their members of their rights, it is unlikely they would have had the victory they did. This strike should serve as a beacon for the collective bargaining power of unions and the power of solidarity within the labor movement.

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